I also urge you to read this Washington Post story on a “food bill” being rushed through the House. It was tripped up on the floor yesterday, but the hard left Democrats running the House will regroup and make a second rush at passage very quickly.
Like the CPSIA that has proven so disastrous for American manufacturing —read my interview with Rick Woldenberg from earlier this week for a survey of the havoc spread by this law— this proposed food bill creates enormous new burdens on an already weakened sector of the economy –agriculture. Most members of the House will not have read it, and the consequences to farming (and the price you eventually pay for food) will be enormous. The reporting on the bill is like the Post’s –horse race sort of stuff without any examination of the bill’s substance or the objections being raised by opponents.
I have spent a lot of this week researching Section 103 of CPSIA –the label tracking provisions of last years law that kick in mid-August. These requirements are draconian and also extremely ambiguous. Manufacturers are enjoined –under threat of penalty– to fix tracking labels on all products intended for kids “to the extent practicable.” As I discussed on air with Dean John Eastman of Chapman Law School yesterday, such a vague statute raises constitutional issues of basic fairness. Even a few more words in the law could have greatly improved the implementation phase, but Congressional ability to write serious laws with specific commands has diminished generation to generation. As a result, unaccountable bureaucracies and courts fill in the gaps, and the costs of doing business lurch every higher and for little in return. (Manufacturers should consider bringing a declaratory relief action before Section 103 kicks in. It is that or just guess.)
I’d like to hear from opponents of the food bill what they consider to be the law’s worst and most burdensome features and the impacts on the food supply and the price of food.
I continue to ask manufacturers struggling with tracking label compliance under CPSIA to send me a note about their decision-making.
Both groups can reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org.